NASSCO delivers first LNG-powered containership

General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containership, the Isla Bella, to TOTE Maritime, and the U.S. Coast Guard has issued it a certificate of inspection.

“I am truly honored to issue this certificate of inspection to the master of the motor vessel Isla Bella,” said Capt. Jonathan S. Spaner, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Diego. “This ship is a great American story of vision, innovation, hard work, and determination. Indeed, the Isla Bella is the most environmentally friendly containership in the world today. With over 90 percent of all trade moving on the water, our involvement with this project will help to shape standards and regulations globally that advance the balance among commerce, security, and environmental sustainability. I congratulate everyone who played a part on this historic project.”

The 764’ Isla Bella, part of a two-ship contract between NASSCO and TOTE signed in December 2012, was delivered nearly two months ahead of schedule. The Marlin-class Isla Bella and sister ship Perla del Caribe will be the largest dry cargo ships powered by LNG and were designed to decrease emissions while improving fuel efficiency compared to conventionally-powered ships.

“Successfully building and delivering the world’s first LNG-powered containership here in the United States for coastwise service demonstrates that commercial shipbuilders, and owners and operators, are leading the world in the introduction of cutting edge, green technology in support of the Jones Act,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO.

The Jones Act-qualified ships will operate between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, the same route plied by TOTE’s El Faro, which disappeared on Oct. 1 in Hurricane Joaquin and is believed to have sunk northeast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas.

The Isla Bella was scheduled to depart San Diego Monday.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is WorkBoat's online editor.

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